The way work is structured and administered directly affects the economic performance of the firm, the quality of working life of the employees, and the very fortunes of a nation. With the globalization of markets and enterprises, multinational corporations face unique challenges in setting the terms and conditions of employment. No one consistent set of policies can span multiple national jurisdictions, yet employees often have assignments that involve rotation among various locations and working together in teams with people each operating in different countries. The result is a wide array of dilemmas and tensions that are brought into sharp relief by this coursebook. The assumption of this volume is that a significant cohort of human resource managers are active in companies that function multinationally and that more are likely to be engaged in such enterprises. Consequently, lawyers are and will increasingly be called upon to advise managers about employment policies and practices in that environment. Even as corporations seek, if not complete uniformity, at least to harmonize their human resource (HR) policies, employment law and employment relations remain deeply rooted in the nation state. Thus HR policies within a single enterprise may differ because of the legislation, administrative policies, and court decisions these legal systems produce – especially as limits on what management would like to do: the very structure and assumptions on which these legal systems operate, the role of the rule of law in human resource management, can have centrifugal effects.
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